For whoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory…
Not without a purpose, we may reasonably believe, did our Lord take this opportunity of asserting the threefold glory in which He should appear as the anointed Judge of human kind. It becomes us to pause for a few moments, that we may, if possible, distinguish the separate rays of His final manifestation, and then turn them, in their united effulgence, on the cowardly who have been ashamed of their Redeemer. Christ shall come, this is the first assertion, "in His own glory"; and this is especially His glory as Mediator, that glory which accrued to Him as the recompense of His sufferings, when He was "exalted on the right hand of God"; when He "received a name which is above every name," and was appointed to administer the affairs of this creation, as "head over all things to His Church." Though the mediatorial kingdom be subordinate to the Divine, and though there is yet to come a day, when all rule, and all authority, and all power having been put down, this kingdom shall be delivered up to the Father — very glorious is it through its appointed duration. There is a glory in it which should especially commend itself to creatures like ourselves; not the glory of the fact, that on a throne of ineffable majesty sitteth one, who, though "found in fashion as a man," guides every spring and regulates every movement throughout a crowded universe — but the glory of another fact, that this Man won to Himself this unlimited sovereignty, through humbling Himself for our sakes to the death upon the cross; that He exercises it upon our behalf, that He may shield us from the second death which is due to our sins. Christ "shall come in His own glory," forasmuch as it will be in virtue of His office as Mediator, that He shall ascend the great white throne. And wondrously resplendent may we believe that glory shall be, forasmuch as it is to be proportioned to the depth of His humiliation, and to the intenseness of His agony in the garden and on the cross. But nevertheless, this is only the glory which appertains to Him as man; and stupendously brilliant as a creature may be when God puts upon him as much honour as a finite nature can admit, we still imagine something immeasurably more dazzling when we think of the glory of a being who is uncreated and infinite. Oh! Christ shall not come in His own glory alone — the glory appertaining to Him as Mediator and as man; He shall come also in "the glory of His Father" — the glory of essential Deity, which appertains to Himself as well as to the Father, seeing that He and the Father are one. I know not — tongue cannot express, thought cannot reach — what this glory shall be. It is utterly beyond us even to imagine a manifestation of Divine glory, as distinct from that glory which has been put upon the Son in His creative capacity; but we are distinctly taught the fact, and we know, therefore, that when "the sign of the Son of man" shall be seen in the heavens, and every eye of the earth's mighty population shall be fastened on the descending Judge, there shall be more discernible than a mere human form, however "clothed with light as with a garment." It shall be made evident, through some, at present, incomprehensible means, that there is actual Divinity, as well as actual humanity, in the person of Christ; and they who have here striven to prove Him nothing more than a creature, degrading Him to a man, and denying Him to be God, shall read at once their falsehood and their condemnation in that "glory of the Father" which shall be super. added to His own glory as Mediator. Neither is this all. There is yet a third glory in which Jesus Christ shall appear — "the glory of the holy angels." What does this mean? Is it only that the Mediator shall be attended with ten thousand times ten thousand ministering spirits? that the firmament shall be lined with the heavenly host, who shall swell His triumphs, and assist at His coronation as universal Lord? More than this is probably intended, seeing that Christ is to be actually invested with the glory of the holy angels; and this He could hardly be if merely accompanied by their processions. But you are to remember that "all things were made by Christ, and that without Him was not anything made that was made"; and the angels are the loftiest beings in creation, and may justly be taken as its representatives. So that, to come in "the glory of the holy angels" may be to come in the glory of the Creator; there may be some immediate and incontrovertible demonstration of the fact that Christ reared the universe, and replenished with animation the infinite void. Or, again, let it be remembered, that "holy angels " owe it to Christ that they were confirmed in their allegiance, and are still preserved from apostasy. Then are holy angels a crown upon the brow of the Redeemer, just as the saints who have been ransomed by His blood. Or, once more, the law was given by the ministration of angels. To come, therefore, in the " glory of the holy angels," may be to come in the glory of the legal administration; Christ's " own glory" being the glory of the gospel, and His Father's the glory of creation. So that to come in the triple glory is to come to judge men according to those several degrees of light under which they lived — that of nature, that of the law, and, the most glorious, that of the gospel. But, whichever be the more correct interpretation, enough is revealed to set in overwhelming contrast the base presence before which men are ashamed of Christ, and the inconceivable magnificence before which Christ shall be ashamed of men.
(H. Melvill, B. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels.